Education and Empowerment for Indonesian Women

For many of us in the privileged Western world, an education is a given. It’s a rite of passage that we are all entitled to, sure some of us have to work harder to get that education and sometimes the level of education varies. But for the most part, we know that we can get an education that takes us to skilled work, or further studies, or employment opportunities.

I’ve spent the last few months researching the lives of Indonesian women. They are the back bone of society here, with their days starting early to ensure the family has food for the day, offerings are made and performed, kids prepared for school, and then they go to work; to then return home to do housework, care for the family, often do second jobs to support the family, and finally rest. The level of education is sketchy at best, my ‘technical’ word for some have a primary level of education, some have a short secondary level, and few have higher education.

I listen to these women tell their stories and I feel wracked with guilt. I remember complaining to my parents about the high school I had to go…because the uniform was ugly with its knee high brown socks. I recall wasting first year of university (didn’t everyone?!), and swapping tutorials and lectures for happy hour at the tavern. I still completed my education but I can honestly say, I don’t think I have ever appreciated it as much until now.

A few months ago I met Ela and she has taught me so much. Ela is one of the students from Bali WISE. She completed her three months in house and is now doing three months at Buffalo Tours, an education partner of Bali WISE. Here she is learning skills required to work within tourism, although these skills are easily transferable and she can take them with her anyway.

Ela is smart and kind and although she doesn’t realise it, she is one of the bravest women I have met. For her to study at Bali WISE, she is so far away from her family. She has come to Bali knowing not a soul. Learning new things, meeting new people, living without her family and friends around her to offer support. But she is doing it, and doing it with pride.

You’ll get to meet Ela at Boogie Wonderland on March 10, our celebration of International Women’s Day and our fundraiser for the education program run by Bali WISE.

The program is a 6 month course and the students come from all over Indonesia, including Flores, Sulawesi, Sumatra and other parts of Java. The program includes a 3 month section that sees the young women living at the Nusa Dua campus and having intensive classes daily. These classes include studying English, banking, women’s health and family planning, and learning skills that are required for future employment. Then they go to one of Bali WISE’s education partners, either a 5 star hotel or travel company, where they spend 3 months learning the skills required to work in the industry, and they also gain insight into other opportunities available to them, career development and higher education.

Offering skilled learning and education to these young women provides them with job opportunities previously unavailable, helps break the poverty cycle by being able to provide more for their families, and also turns them into role models who other girls and young women from their community can look up to.

Every woman deserves to be recognised, heard and empowered.

 

Join us on March 10 for Boogie Wonderland and help us continue this program. Ticket price includes pre-dinner drinks, 3 course dinner, Two Islands Wines and Stark Beer all night long, and a goodie bag. Plus we have a DJ and a band, door prizes, raffles and a silent auction. Tickets are on sale now by contacting events@baliwise.org and a table of ten gets a 10% discount on the price.

If you can’t make it on the night but want to help and do some lovely ‘shopping’ for yourself, you could bid on our online auction! We have vouchers from resorts, shops, spas, bars, restaurants, dive companies, beauty clinics, bike companies, art, photography and so much more! Anyone anywhere in the world can bid so head to www.biddingowl.com/Boogiewonderland

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